It seems that, especially at this time of year, everyone has a list, whatever it may be we put it on a list. Whether we shop for groceries or Sub for Santa, we all have our lists. Our children have a list for Santa. We adults have a list of things to do, preparations to make, places to go, for groceries, gifts to buy and a list of bills to be paid. We spend a lot of time stressing over our lists, we cross one thing off and then add another two. In our efforts to do it all we wear ourselves out, we become discouraged, that perfect moment we hope for is elusive and often lost in our own exhaustion and sometime short temper. We convince ourselves that if we can just do it all, everything will be all right, but it rarely turns out the way we thought it would or should because we are trying to live up to a standard that is only possible with a screenwriters imagination and a Hollywood budget.
So this Christmas I would like to offer you a different list, my list, a gratitude list. Rather than focusing on what I think needs to be done, I'm going to focus on what has been done for me.
Things that I am grateful for, the gifts in the ordinary things that I so often overlook in all my busyness.
- a love note on the mirror in the morning
- an early morning cuddle with a boy or two
- a kiss on the cheek
- clean sheets on the bed
- an old fashioned game of Scrabble
- a humble winner and a gracious loser
- a boy remembering his brother when a treat is offered
- a sister, whose door is always open
- a willing babysitter
- brothers who defend me
- the delight a boy takes in Winnie the Pooh
- the first day of Kindergarten
- a walk to/from the school bus stop
- soap bubbles on the breeze
- a boys fascination with birds on a wire
- a book read by a boy learning to read
- lunch with a friend
- Sizzler on a Sunday after church
- a boy who likes to eat broccoli
- hot tea on a cold day
- a finished quilt
- that stillness that comes at the end of the day
- and that I am forgiven.
Forgiveness our greatest need, the greatest gift given in our savior, that gift we all so desperately need but all too often fail to ask for or to offer.
I hope and pray that this year you will find that gift, in both the giving and the receiving, and that in the finding you will be blessed, beyond measure.
"Glory to God in the highest
and on earth
good will toward men."